Nouakchott Tensions Escalate After Visit from European Delegation

Nouakchott Tensions Escalate After Visit from European Delegation
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Nouakchott Tensions Escalate After Visit from European Delegation

Nouakchott is experiencing a heightened state of unrest in the aftermath of a European delegation’s visit on February 8th, led by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.

During this visit, Mauritania entered into a partnership agreement with the European Union aimed at addressing irregular migration. A key component of this accord involves the repatriation of undocumented Mauritanian migrants. In return for its cooperation, Mauritania stands to receive over 500 million euros in aid, along with proposed projects in the transportation and energy sectors.

However, the agreement has encountered staunch opposition from various quarters within the political class and civil society. Critics argue that the deal reflects a sense of disregard from the European Union and underscores perceived weaknesses in the Mauritanian government.

Samory Ould Beye, a prominent opinion leader and unionist holding the position of Secretary-General of the Free Confederation of Workers of Mauritania (CLTM), voiced his apprehensions regarding the agreement. Beye expressed, “This agreement targets the territorial integrity of Mauritania as well as the nation’s supreme interests. It involves us in an agreement whose consequences we cannot bear, and which will destabilize our country.” He further contended that the EU perceives Mauritania as fragile and malleable to policies aligning with its interests.

The discontent surrounding the agreement found expression in the form of a demonstration organized by the “Kafana” movement, which called for the annulment of the accord. The movement vehemently rejected what it described as “the sale of Mauritania with the aim of making it an alternative homeland for illegal immigrants.”

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